Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

Information Page.

Fishing in Brazil (I).

We've just spent Christmas and the New Year with our son Richard and his family in Maceio, Brazil. When it comes to fishing Richard's just as keen as I am. So, when we weren't prevented by festivities, birthday parties, Christmas parties, New Year's parties and just party parties (jeez - do the Brazilians like parties?) and the odd injury or illness (I was the only one who came through completely unscathed), we fished. We are still on a steep learning curve over there as Richard has a young family and a hectic job to contend with, so perhaps I should say a bit about Brazilian angling to set the scene.

Apparently there are something like ten million sport fishermen in the country and this is borne out by the continuous stream of fishing programmes on the telly (all day every day). Much of the footage is in the nature of thinly veiled advertising for guides, accommodation and tackle businesses but it doesn't reflect the reality of how most anglers fish. I would say that the majority of the sea fishing is fairly crude beach casting with prawns or bits of prawns for bait. The catch from these tactics is a vast variety of mostly tiny fish. Marine catfish, grunts, snappers, croakers, etc. etc. are winched in on smallish hooks, hefty line and leads that weigh several times as much as the average fish (not that different to the whiting and dabs hauled in on beach gear along much of the UK coastline really). Last time I was over there Richard and I progressed beyond the 'tiny fish on prawns' stage (well you have to try the local tactics first don't you?) and we had a couple of decent snook on lures - quite a result.

This time, immediately after arriving in Maceio, we drove/flew up to Fortaleza, another coastal town well north of Richard's home. Our first sortie was onto one of the local piers to see what was happening. Sure enough there were a number of anglers in action with prawn baited tackle. While I watched they landed tiny catfish and croakers. In answer to my enquiries it seemed that there was nothing better to be caught. Undaunted Rich and I were down there at dawn the following morning armed with spinning rods and lures. I tried a big Slandra (ever hopeful) while Rich stuck to a Fiiish Black Minnow which he says seems to be universally accepted by small saltwater predators.

I managed a couple of bites - neither of which managed to cope with the big lure - but Richard (jammy sod) had a fat snook and followed it up with a grouper. All the fish seemed to be close to the stonework of the pier. The presence of reasonable sized predators was confirmed when we saw a spear fisherman swimming below us and trailing a three pound fat snook from his belt. All in all it was a reasonable start to our trip and not bad for a place we'd never been to before.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com

Fat snook.

One of the smaller species of snook but a welcome first fish for us.'


As always we made an early start.  The lights of Fortaleza sea front are in the background.'

Close up.

No monster but a beautiful fish nonetheless.'

Brazilian fishing.

Richard demonstrates shore fishing 'Brazilian style'.  Unlike the locals we were after bait.  The fish trap in the background is typical of local beaches.'